Q&A: Brad Simon, PlayFirst Inc.

GC California Magazine


Simon received his law degree from UC-Berkeley School of Law and his LL.M. from Harvard Law School, where he focused on international law and negotiation. He currently serves on the international advisory committee of Public Interest Intellectual Property Advisors Inc. (PIIPA), a nonprofit organization that provides IP-related legal assistance to groups in developing countries. He is also an adjunct professor at UC-Berkeley law school, where he teaches a course in video game law.


Q: You teach a course in video game law at [UC-Berkeley's] Boalt Hall. I'm imagining a classroom room full of geeky game-addicted law students. What is video game law really about?

A: Well, actually during the first class I asked students to talk about why they were interested in the class and what they wanted to get out of it. Indeed, it started sounding like the class was a "safe space" for a bunch of closeted hard-core gamers! But seriously, the class is designed to look at the legal issues from the perspective of a particular industry — more specifically, a lawyer working with content creators to produce a game, then with customers to distribute a game across the range of available and newly emerging platforms, and finally with competitors, dealing with a host of issues. Certainly, IP is critical but a lot of other issues are implicated in the industry, in ways perhaps unique to the industry — areas such as tort law and violence or First Amendment and content regulation, for example.